“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Ps. 63:1 NIV)
I grew up in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge Occupation. I remember that on April 17, 1975, it was announced by the government that those who lived in the capitol city of Phnom Penh had to leave their homes for three days. That three days stretched into three and a half years. How we longed to go home, but there didn’t seem to be any hope! Only when a new government came into power were we allowed back into our homes; but what homes did we have to come back to? Someone else had been occupying our homes during that time, and they were in ruins.
What is it that each of us are earnestly seeking in the present chapter of our lives? Are we desiring shelter? A padded bank account? An overflowing pantry? Drugs? What about changes to our laws? Changes to our governments? Friendships? Other types of relationships with close and extended family, our pastors, our co-workers, our neighbors? Does it seem like the way to our desires is dry and parched? Does it seem like there is no hope?
Please note that the Holy Spirit guided and encouraged me to write this devotional weeks before COVID-19 forced the world into lockdown. I don’t know about where you are located, but in southern California we have initially been told the lockdown will last three weeks. In the end, we do not know how long it will last. I can’t help but notice how God wants to prepare us all for the fact that lockdown could last much longer… And in the same way, please understand that whatever you are going through that is making your way dry may last a lot longer than you anticipate, too. Here is a Bible text God gave me in the face of the COVID-19 lockdown. Maybe it will help you in whatever situation you find yourself now: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14 NIV)
Look at what King David said to God in Ps. 63:2-8: “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” (NIV)
Instead of longing for things of this world, if only we would all turn to see God as King David did! God is the only One who is truly worthy! Can we say, “Because God love is better than life, our lips will glorify you. We will praise you as long as I live, and in your name We will lift up my hands”? Can we say, “We will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips our mouth will praise you. On our bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are our help, We sing in the shadow of your wings. We cling to you; your right hand upholds us”?
For when we turn to Him, we don’t have to worry about going back to ruined homes: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
Thank God and praise Him in Christ Jesus name! Amen.
Sophie Chun Ngeth
“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” (Luke 17:10 NIV)